AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 10: “The Diviner”
Directed by Paco Cabezas
Written by Ryan Scott
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Minotaur” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “La Serpiente” – click here
Nick (Frank Dillane) is being punished for his role in helping Troy (Daniel Sharman), even if he did talk the guy out of some crazy shit. He’s being kept out in a can, a little slot to see outside; the hot box torture. Where he sees Troy talking to him, taunting. Afterwards he’s let out.
Or is he? No, it’s all a vision. No Troy, no getting out of his punishment.
Elsewhere, Qaletqa (Michael Greyeyes) and Madison (Kim Dickens) talk about things. What’s next for their shared group going forward. First thing to think about is collecting water, the survival elements. Walker’s taking care of the weaponry just fine, now that Troy is out of the picture.
At the same time, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) keeps an eye on her brother, on Jake (Sam Underwood), and her mother trusts her to keep the secret that they only have “6 weeks worth of water left.” Oh, damn. That’ll turn things bad. Nobody knows currently, except Madison, her daughter, and Walker.
Mom goes off with Walker, while her kids stay at the ranch. Nick is out of his little tin can, a bit of water, cut free. The kids head home and Alicia tries keeping her secret, even from her brother. Upstairs, Jake is dealing with unhappy people concerning the rationing of the water. We see Alicia doing her best to speak strongly, convincing them to trust in the remaining Otto, that he has their best interests at heart.
On the road, Madison is dealing with her own shit. Like Walker mansplaining how to deal with children when he only has dogs of his own. Bless her heart, she gives him that biting sarcasm to shut it down.
Meanwhile, Nick receives a visit from the militia men still kicking. They’re happy he stepped up, even if it isn’t exactly what he was doing at the time. Right now, they’re looking to him for guidance. Leadership, even. Without guns he feels nothing is worth doing. So the lads have brought him “a gift.” A gun not under lock and key, controlled by the tribe. Fuck. I love Nick, but lord, is his judgement ever suspect at even the best of times. I’m afraid what might happen if he becomes the militia’s leading man, and more so if he’s unable to control them.
Along the street, Madison and Walker come across a large outpost, the Bazaar. They have to hand over weapons. They can trade items for time inside, which prompts Madison to reluctantly use her walkie as credit. No contact with her daughter, sort of a scary thing for any parent in this post-zombie apocalypse. Inside the Bazaar, they find every sort of item for sale and for trade, from basic threads, handbags, to motorcycles and tattoos. Just as it was once upon a time in America.
Alicia’s discussing with Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), Crazy Dog, the issue of people possibly taking twice their ration of water. Something a militia man claims. Things are uneasy, getting worse by the day. “Control your own people first,” says Ofelia; maybe bargaining with the woman who tried poisoning everyone on that land ain’t such a hot idea.
In secret, Nick and militia are talking over a possible attack to take back the land. He advises waiting, though everyone else is hot to trot. At least he’s got a brain, despite whatever course of action he’ll decide on eventually. Worse, Alicia’s found his gun, not happy. He tells her it’s mostly just to keep the militia in line, they listen to what he says. But there’s a divide between even family members, as the little sister clearly has problems with her older, former junkie brother being the favourite. Moreover, she feels that mom is “broken” and that they’re only following after her mad plans to make her love them, to be the good kids she expects.
Sad to see this scene juxtaposed with Alicia then calling over the radio, not realising her mother’s intentionally sold off the radio. She fucks up later, too. Telling everyone about the truth of the water situation. Yikes.
Nobody is happy, then a slight riot breaks out before Crazy Dog fires a gun, forcibly taking over the well. That doesn’t work – Nick stands his ground, others stand with him. Getting tense as hell up in HERE!
Alicia: “There is no them and us.”
At the Bazaar, Madison and Walker are angling to get a massive amount of water to keep the ranch going as long as they can. While the Native leader tries bargaining, Madison runs into none other than Victor Strand (Colman Domingo). He’s in a bit of trouble, as usual. She winds up helping, as does Walker, to get him out of a jam. Also sacrificing the possible water deal. Best thing is they’ve got Strand, who knows a place for water. When they get away and hide, he talks to the pair about the dam briefly.
Things aren’t so great for Strand, he has a debt that needs paying to the proctor of the Bazaar. He’s in chains until the debt’s paid off. Madison doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her friend. “The whole world is lost,” Victor tells her, pleading that she just leaves and goes back to her kids again. So nonchalant in the face of danger, always.
And in the meantime Walker’s fixed the water deal.
“My mother named me Victor because she knew I‘d always win”
Victor and other debtors are put out in the streets, where they’ve either got to clear out walkers, or perish. But someone’s paid his debt, leaving Walker vicious when he discovers what he was using to pay for the deal. Madison has plans, though. She wants to use her old buddy’s connections to find a more permanent solution to their water woes.
Nick and the militia have been gathering whatever weapons they can, from bow and arrows to hatchets and everything else in between. They’ve sneaked onto the tribe’s portion of the land. Alicia’s working with the Natives, having seen a diviner that sparked her interest. Simultaneously, Crazy Dog and Co. are about ready to start firing.
Will this spark violence?
No. Nick goes to see Alicia, the tribespeople working to save the land, to find a better water source. And this gives even Crazy Dog, the militia, the boost to perhaps come together. Maybe all they ALL need is to see there’s another way; a path to survival, for everybody.
Excellent first two episodes after the mid-season break. The whole Native storyline mixed in with the post-zombie wasteland is very interesting, as is the idea of the border, the whole concept of the water supply (a genuinely real world concern if the apocalypse of any kind does ever come). Love the writing.
“La Serpiente” is next. Can’t wait to see more of Daniel, Strand, and more of Madison being an ass kicker.